Racing: Stamina doubts over speedy Cyfor Malta

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DESPITE THE fact he has yet to win beyond two and threequarter miles, Cyfor Malta, the comfortable winner of the Murphy's Gold Cup Handicap Chase off a handicap mark of 150 over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on Saturday, now disputes favouritism for the Hennessy Gold Cup Handicap Chase over an extended three and a quarter miles at Newbury on Saturday week. Teeton Mill, the other joint favourite, looks a more solid proposition, being a proven stayer who was most impressive when winning at Wincanton recently.

Grey Shot was promoted in the Champion Hurdle betting following Sunday's victory in the Murphy's Draughtflow Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham but, although he is progressive over timber, a two-length victory off a mark of just 136 leaves him needing to improve by another two stone if he is to trouble Istabraq, the Champion Hurdler.

Stanley have laid a bet of pounds 25,000-pounds 1,000 about Suny Bay for the Cheltenham Gold Cup ahead of his reappearance in tomorrow's Edward Hanmer Memorial Limited Handicap Chase at Haydock.

FIRST NATIONAL BANK HANDICAP CHASE (Ascot, Saturday): William Hill: 4- 1 Irbee, 9-2 Dontleavethenest, 5-1 Red Marauder, 7-1 Chief's Song, 8-1 Hurricane Lamp, 10-1 Ashwell Boy, Listen Timmy, Raleagh Native, 12-1 Kurakka, The Land Agent, 14-1 Northern Starlight, 16-1 Skycab, 25-1 Hoh Warrior.